When it comes to creepy characters in cinema, The Silence of the Lambs’ Buffalo Bill, a.k.a “Jame Gumb,” is the gold standard against which all others are held. However, this is owed more to ubiquity than it is merit. It makes sense that he’s used as such; Silence swept the Oscars and quickly became a pop culture touch point.
However, skinning fat girls doesn’t earn the title of “Creepiest Man in Film.” For that title, I propose these nine gentleman who make Buffalo Bill seem like a Girl Scout.
That was hyperbolic. Buffalo Bill is still a really bad guy.
We didn’t have to go very far from the benchmark to get one entry on this list. While Buffalo Bill is by no means a charmer, his crazy, flesh suit-wearing ways are a sublime delight when held up to the head of the psychiatric “hospital,” Dr. Chilton. His smugness and sleazy demeanor cause the viewer to half-expect hair gel to start oozing out of his pores.
Remarkably, Hannibal Lecter was able to look past all his shortcomings and “have him for dinner.”
Oh. I just got that. That’s funny.
The title of the film says it all. This guy wears one face to the world, and another one in the confines of the Bates Motel. Like Buffalo Bill, this dude is straight-up crazy. Beyond the standard killing (which wouldn’t get you on this list). In terms of creepy actions, this guy takes the cake with conversing and keeping his mother’s decomposing corpse as a companion.
While the above gentlemen are creepier on a social level, Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon’s character from Sleepers) is creepier on more of a “molests little boys and tortures them” level, which is one hell of a level. With the other guards at the juvenile detention center, he raped many of the boys, apparently unrepentant years after the fact.
Coupled with his appearance (which can best be described as “greasy as shit”) when confronted by one of the grown-up boys, he’s working creepy on two very palatable levels. I hope he enjoyed his dinner that night. It was his last.